February 22, 2022 Steve Gerrard

Is 6 hours of wedding photography enough?

As a wedding photographer, one of the questions I hear often from couples is how many hours of coverage do we need?  Since this is probably your first time planning a wedding, you may have no idea what you will need and don’t even know where to start figuring it out. You want to make sure you get all the important parts of your day covered, but you also don’t want to be spending your precious wedding budget on hours of photography that you really don’t need.

Over the years, almost all my couples have opted for my main package and that has always included full-day coverage with unlimited hours so that I don’t miss a single second of such an important day. Jeannine & Patrick’s wedding began at 8am and finished at 2am the next morning, and I was there throughout.

However, not every couple needs 18 hours of photography on their wedding day. In recent years, many brides & grooms have opted for smaller, more intimate weddings that may not begin until mid-afternoon and sometimes are all done well before midnight.

I want to help make things easier for you, so here is my guide to how many hours of wedding photography coverage you really need for your wedding day.

wedding photography coverage of guests laughing

Six Hours of Wedding Photography Coverage

I recently updated my wedding photography prices to help couples who are only looking for a few hours of coverage but still want me as their wedding photographer. People can now book 6 hours or add extra hours at a fixed rate.

Unless you plan on eloping or just having an intimate dinner instead of a wedding reception, I’d say it’s best to plan for at least six hours of wedding day photography coverage. Here are a few situations when 6 hours of wedding photography coverage could work great!

  • Your ceremony and reception are in the same location
  • You don’t want getting ready photos
  • You’re not planning a special reception exit don’t need a lot of dancing photos


  • 6 hours of coverage most likely means that there will not be much time for detail decor/design shots or photos of you getting ready with the gilrs/boys.
  • But there will be coverage of all of the most important moments (portraits, ceremony, family photos, first dance, speeches)
  • The end of the night comes early with just 6 hours of coverage so, most likely there will not be many photos of the reception once the party starts

Planning the hours of your wedding photography coverage

Eight Hours (or more) of Wedding Photography Coverage

Eight hours of wedding photography is still a short day for me. It’s rare I work for less than 12 hours at most weddings but around 8 hours can sometimes be fine for some weddings. Here are a few situations when 8 hours or more of wedding photography coverage will probably be needed.

  • Your ceremony and reception are in different locations
  • You want to do a first look
  • You want both getting ready photos and a lot of dancing photos
  • You don’t want to be checking your watch to make sure everything is running on time all day!

One of the main reasons couples book my unlimited wedding coverage option is that they don’t want to worry about everything running on time so that it fits with the photographer’s schedule. And for me as their photographer, the last thing I want to do on their wedding day is tell them that they’ll have to pay extra for me to stay longer.

I want my couples to forget about me and live their best day with their favourite people while I document it all from beginning to end. I want the photos to tell the full story so that they can look back on the images in years to come and remember every moment.

how many hours of wedding photography coverage


  • If you have a huge amount of guests, I’d definitely plan for more hours of photography coverage. With everyone in “party mode” it means that it can be hard to get and keep people’s attention (not to mention the fact that it can be difficult to find and get the right people in the right place all at the right time!)
  • If you’re super into design and have the budget to make all of those Pinterest inspiration ideas come to life, it would be a bummer if all of those design details didn’t get photographed. So, if you have the wedding signs, floral displays, neon lighting, custom cocktails and lounges that everybody dreams of, I definitely recommend more hours of coverage to make sure every design detail gets the attention it deserves!

Wanna chat more about wedding photos. Get in touch via the Contact Page!

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About the Author

Steve Gerrard 🇨🇦 Wedding + Portrait Photographer 😊 𝘋𝘢𝘥. 𝘏𝘶𝘴𝘣𝘢𝘯𝘥. 𝘔𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘤 𝘑𝘶𝘯𝘬𝘪𝘦.⁣ I photograph portraits, bands & cool weddings

Comments (2)

    • It’s all about being flexible for couples these days and making it easier for them to book if they love the work but maybe are on a budget or are planning a smaller wedding.

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